Dhimmis

Covenant Of ‘Umar

COVENANT OF ‘UMAR Ascribed to the second Orthodox caliph, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (634-644), and regarded as a document of primary importance in regulating the relations between the Muslim conquerors of the Middle East and their Dhimmi subjects, that is, the Jews and the Christians, including the Coptic nation in Egypt. The situation of the Copts …

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John XI (?-1452)

JOHN XI (?-1452) A Patriarch (89th, 1427-1452), ecumenist. John XI presided over the Coptic Orthodox Church during a difficult period marked by coerced conversions away from the Church, confiscation of the property of Copts and other dhimmis, and the destruction and pillaging of churches. Especially tragic for the Coptic community was the destruction in 1436 …

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Arab Conquest Of Egypt

ARAB CONQUEST OF EGYPT The conquest, under ‘Amr ibn al-‘As, was the last of the rapid series of victories in the years A.H. 13-19/A.D. 635-640 that had led the Arabs to overthrow the weakened Byzantine provinces of the Near East. The conquest of Egypt marked the virtual end of a rapid period of expansion, since …

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Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah

IBN QAYYIM AL-JAWZIYYAH (al-Salafi Shams al-Din Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr ibn Ayyub ibn Sa‘d ibn Hariz al-Zar‘i al-Dimashqi), fourteenth-century encyclopedia author. He was known as Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah since his father was the curator of the Jawziyyah School in Damascus. He was a Hanbalite. Though he received his training from numerous teachers, …

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Jizyah

JIZYAH A poll tax, or capitation tax, imposed on all able-bodied non-Muslim subjects of the Islamic state. It was required of Dhimmis (see AHL AL-DHIMMAH), who were Christians, Jews, and other monotheistic non-Muslims with a protected status. They were barred from enlisting in Islamic armies, and their poll tax was supposed to pay for Muslims …

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Jirjis Al-Jawhari

JIRJIS AL-JAWHARI A noted Copt (d. 1810) who after the death of his brother IBRAHIM AL-JAWHARI (1795) replaced him as director of the Egyptian administration of taxes and finances, and also became an intimate confidant of the dominant Mamluk amirs. He was—like his predecessors in that position—a sort of gray eminence, in whose hands all …

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Saint Bulus Al-Habis

SAINT BULUS AL-HABIS A Coptic monk and “new martyr” of the thirteenth century. Bulus al-Habis (Paul the Solitary) appears in the Islamic-Arabic sources as having descended from a respectable Coptic family of scribes in Cairo. Mikha’il, as he was known prior to taking the monastic vows, was himself a katib (scribe or secretary). During the …

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Personal Status Law

PERSONAL STATUS LAW The term “personal status” was adopted during the period of Egyptian legal reform in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, to categorize certain laws governing the personal, not property, matters of individuals in accordance with their own respective religions. This concept became an established part of Egyptian legislation. Historical Background The …

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